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'Aid for Trade' to help craft-producing communities

18
Feb '10
Some 4,000 farming and craft-producing households in four northern provinces of Viet Nam will benefit from a multi-agency programme, led by the International Trade Centre (ITC), which was launched recently with funding from Spain's Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Achievement
Fund.

The programme will deliver lasting improvements in income and employment opportunities for those who grow or collect raw materials for craft production, households producing handicrafts and furniture,and exporting companies.

The programme builds on the national export strategy that ITC assisted the Government of Viet Nam to develop in 2006. It involves the Government, business associations and sector-related business service producers at national, provincial and local levels working together to enable growers, collectors and producers to improve their products and connect to more profitable markets.

“This programme is 'Aid for Trade' in action and will demonstrate the ways in which developing countries can trade their way out of poverty,” commented Patricia R. Francis, ITC's Executive Director. “We are proud to have strong partners in delivering this important multi-agency programme that will bring lasting benefits to many thousands of rural people living in poverty”.

Besides ITC, United Nations (UN) agencies involved in the programme are the UN Industrial Development Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Labour Organization and the UN Conference on Trade and Development. The programme aligns with the 'One Plan', the common programming framework that guides UN operations in Viet Nam, one of eight One UN pilot countries.

ITC is setting up a programme management unit at the offices of VIETCRAFT, the national handicraft organization, which was established following approval of the national export strategy for the sector. Under the coordination of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE), VIETCRAFT will undertake day-to-day management of the joint programme and is organizing 'LifeStyle Vietnam' Viet Nam's first international home decor and gifts trade fair in Ho Chi Minh City on 23-26 April, with support from ITC. The fair's 700 stands will exhibit a range of innovative and environmentally-friendly new designs for products including decorative items, handicrafts, furniture, home textiles and embroidery.

“We are proud to host the management unit of this important new programme which is expected to effectively combat poverty in craft-producing communities through sustainable production and export development” commented Mr. Le Ba Ngoc, Vice Chairman of VIETCRAFT The Spanish MDG Fund, which is providing US$ 4 million for the programme, includes a focus on interventions that promote private sector development as a contribution to achievement of the MDGs. “This programme links directly to three of the MDGs - those related to poverty and hunger reduction, gender equality and environmental sustainability,” noted Koen Oosterom, ITC country manager.

ITC is a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the UN, focused on supporting small and medium-sized private sector enterprises in developing countries as vital contributors to economic growth and achievement of the MDGs.

International Trade Centre


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